1) Listen to Podcast
Nonsense! The Paradox of Suffering:
Pathways in Suffering
1. “In,” not “Through” : This week’s sermon was originally titled, ‘Pathways through Suffering’, but Pastor Jonathan wisely changed it to ‘Pathways in suffering’ because suffering normally lasts longer than we would like it to. How can a prolonged season of suffering prove to be a blessing? What would this slow pace permit you to see
and experience which a faster, more carefree period wouldn’t? This new sermon title also acknowledges that
some suffering will only be relieved in Heaven (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17). Why is this a comfort and how do we
train ourselves to see it as such?
2. Pathways : Returning to this week’s sermon title, what is meant by a PATHWAY in suffering? Tease out the
implications of this journey metaphor (direction, destination, map, companions for the journey, etc.). How do
each element connect to the Bible’s description of how we process pain in this fallen world as followers of
3. Starting Points : If pain is a pathway, then different pains have different pathways, different trailheads. For
some, the starting point for processing grief is repentance . For others, the pathway in suffering begins with
offering forgiveness after being hurt. Some must face the mystery and unanswered questions of their anguish
with simple trust in the goodness of God. Think through the lives of biblical characters (Abraham, Joseph,
Moses, Saul, David, Jonah, etc.). What were these characters’ starting points? Who do you most relate to?
4. Lament : Of the 150 psalms, a whopping 60 of them are classified as laments , and every one contains these
three elements: (1) a complaint to God about one’s suffering, (2) a plea for deliverance, and (3) a statement of
assurance of God’s help. Lament psalms were especially comforting to Jesus, Psalm 22 in particular (Matt.
27:46). Read this psalm and discuss what strength Jesus must have drawn from its words while He hung on
the cross. As Psalm 22 is tailor-made for Christ, if there were a lament psalm tailor-made for you, what
aspects of your story would it include?